Friday, August 20, 2010

Stewart Woodman's "Shefzilla"

Boost your cooking credentials with help from Shefzilla (a.k.a. Stewart Woodman), whose time-tested recipes that will bring repeat customers to your table.

On a brisk February morning, Stewart Woodman learned he’d been named a semifinalist for Best Chef: Midwest by the prestigious James Beard Foundation. That afternoon, a fire gutted his restaurant, Heidi’s, a southwest Minneapolis bistro whose inspired meals had garnered a passionate following among neighbors and travelers alike.

Undaunted, Woodman turned his time and energy to cooking on a smaller scale—at home, for family and friends. He learned to adjust his tools and ingredients but not his style, and the result is chef-quality fare suitable for the home kitchen. Known to local food enthusiasts as “Shefzilla” for his blog of the same name, Woodman offers his “ingredients-forward” philosophy in 150 recipes that will allow home cooks to create fabulous yet unpretentious dishes like Roasted Beet Salad with Soy “Sauce” and Napa Cabbage, Wild Rice and Cremini Mushroom Hot Dish, and Pink Peppercorn Ice Cream.

Woodman’s food and life lessons came under the tutelage of Alain Ducasse, Jean- Georges Vongerichten, Eric Ripert, Gray Kunz, and Michael Romano and in restaurant kitchens in Montreal, Vancouver, New York City, and Minneapolis. In Shefzilla, he presents decades of cooking knowledge in meal-sized bites that will inspire home cooks to expand their repertoireThrough tips and stories and carefully developed recipes accompanied by lush full-color photos, Shefzilla entertains and educates as he helps you conquer haute cuisine at home.
Advance Praise for Shefzilla

“This terrific book is full of recipes that are refined yet completely accessible to the home cook. Stewart teaches in a straightforward way, offering dozens of practical tips and tricks. The joy he gets from cooking is contagious.”
Eric Ripert, chef/co-owner, Le Bernardin

“Shefzilla is a great achievement—superb recipes, pertinent insight into the mind of a fine chef, a nifty glimpse into the kitchens I wish I worked in—but mostly this is a finely tuned chronicle of the food we all want to cook and eat with friends and family. Simplicity and ambition sit side by side in this love letter from a chef who sees every ingredient as capable of telling a story. After spending a few days reading and cooking from Shefzilla, I admire the writer, father, and husband who created it as much as I do the chef.”

Andrew Zimmern, co-creator, host, and contributing producer of the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods
Stewart Woodman trained under some of the world’s most celebrated chefs before striking out on his own in Minneapolis. In 2006, Food&Wine named him one of America’s “Best New Chefs,” cheering his “flawless modern-American food.” Woodman plans to open a new Heidi’s restaurant in Minneapolis in October.

Pub Date: October 2010 from Borealis Books
$27.95 Cloth
Specs: 192 Pages, 7 x 9, 80 color photos

More About Stewart Woodman

Stewart Woodman’s career spans over two decades. It began when he was fourteen years old, flipping burgers in Dorval, Montreal. It took him to some of the finer kitchens in Banff, Vancouver, New York City, Lima, Monaco, Paris, and now Minneapolis.

Born in Pennsylvania and raised in Montreal by a potter/sculptor mother and a mathematician/meteorologist father, Stewart Woodman has the rare gift of understanding the juxtaposition between form and function. He is known for a technical ability and creative sensibility that is defining an original and unique language of food. Iconoclastic and bold, he is at once a classicist and a modernist. Woodman understands and deftly combines flavors with stunning results.

Woodman trained under some of the most celebrated chefs in the world: Alain Duccasse, Jean George Vongerichten, Eric Ripert, Gray Kunz and Michael Romano. Woodman met his wife, Heidi Lerman, in New York, and the couple moved to Minneapolis in 2002. Woodman made his mark in the Twin Cities as the opening chef at Restaurant Levain and Five Restaurant & Street Lounge. In 2006, Food & Wine named Woodman as one America’s 10 “Best New Chefs,” because “after his training at top restaurants from Vancouver to Manhattan, he’s serving flawless modern-American food in Minneapolis.”

Stewart and Heidi Woodman opened the critically acclaimed Heidi’s Minneapolis in October 2007 with partner and maitre’d Frank Thorpe, Woodman was the head chef and Heidi was the pastry chef. At Heidi’s, he continued his “ingredient forward” philosophy. “It’s all about putting together ingredients in new ways to create a dish that’ tastes like something you’ve never tried before,” he says.

In February 2010, a fire gutted Heidi’s. Undaunted, Woodman turned his time and energy to cooking on a smaller scale--at home, for family and friends. The result is Shefzilla: Conquering Haute Cuisine at Home. He and his wife plan to re-open Heidi’s in a new location in Minneapolis in October 2010.

As a chef, Woodman creates unique food that connects with people. Heidi's Minneapolis was named one of “50 Best New Restaurants in the U.S.” by Travel and Leisure Magazine (2009), and Best Restaurant in Minneapolis by CityPages (2009). He is also the owner of, a popular food blog, and favorite of Rick Nelson's, where he writes and creates fresh content daily about all things cooking.

Stewart Woodman is an artist who is dedicated to enriching, evolving and honoring the beauty in every dish, for every guest, and every reader.

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